The Marauders athletic program began in 1970 when Fritz Fell was brought on board to start a menís basketball program. Al Bortke succeed Fell in 1973 as the menís basketball coach and athletic director and over the next 36 years would develop an athletic program that enjoyed tremendous success at the NAIA level and later in NCAA Division II. After achieving a record of 335-156 in 16 years as the menís basketball coach that included 11 20-win seasons, Bortke became U-Mary's first full-time athletic director in 1989. During Bortke's tenure, U-Mary grew from one varsity sport (men's basketball) to as many as 19, and the Marauders athletic program became a national power in the NAIA. A member of both the Marauders and NAIA athletic halls of fame, Bortke spearheaded the University of Mary's move to NCAA Division II.
U-Mary became an active member of the NCAA in 2007. The process took only three years after the NCAA waived the final two provisional years, making the University of Mary's transition to active membership one of the quickest in the organization's history. The Marauders began competing in the NSIC in the fall of 2006.
Marauders Athletic Quick Facts
- Nickname: Marauders
- School Colors: Blue, Orange and White
- Affiliation: NCAA Division II (Active Member 2007)
- Conference: Northern Sun (Member 2006)
- Athletic Director: Roger Thomas
- Asst. Athletic Director Operations/Compliance: Kevin Forde
- Asst. Athletic Director for Advancement: Mike Offerdahl
- Sports Information Director: Brian Larson
- Head Athletic Trainer: Rhonda Olson
- Faculty Athletic Representative: Dr. Rod Jonas
- Athletic Dept. Phone: 701.355.8200